The New Orleans Saints had a massive issue in the kicking department last year due to Wil Lutz missing the entire season due to injury. While he’s set to return for the 2022 season, he’ll have some competition this summer in the form of John Parker Romo, an undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech.
Romo spent the first year of his collegiate career at Tulsa before transferring to Virginia Tech in 2019 and remaining there for the final three years before entering the draft. Despite going undrafted, he signed with the Saints as a UDFA.
While Lutz missed all of last year and might not be as sharp as he once was, Romo’s battle to get onto the 53-man roster won’t be easy. Before his injury, Lutz was one of the best kickers in the game, posting an 82.1 field goal percentage and 98.3 extra-point percentage during the 2020 season.
However, who’s to say that Lutz will be the same dominant kicker he was before the injury?
Saints UDFA John Parker Romo is competition for Wil Lutz this summer
During his senior season with the Hokies, Romo was perfect on extra points, going 34-for-34. He went 18-for-22 on field-goal attempts, giving him a completion percentage of 81.8. He scored a total of 88 points for Virginia Tech last season.
New Orleans was in kicker purgatory while Lutz was out and it wasn’t until Brett Maher was healthy and found his footing that fans felt okay with the team going for three points instead of the first down.
Lutz is obviously the favorite to win the job, especially with how bad the replacement kickers were (except for Maher, obviously) but Romo is someone the team could stash on their practice squad and use in case of emergency. Also, as noted before, there’s no guarantee that Lutz returns to his pre-injured form.
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If he struggles this summer, he’ll still win the job assuming he’s not downright awful but John Parker Romo could be waiting in the wings should Lutz struggle to return to the Wil Lutz of old.